The Chicago Cubs are streaking and have climbed up to their highest position in the MLB Power Rankings since the early going.
It’s not how you start the year, it’s how you end it. That’s good news for the Chicago Cubs who played through most of the 2017 season in a World Series hangover and funk. The Cubs were in second place for long stretches of the first half but finally began to turn things on in the second half. They have been one of the hottest teams in the National League over the past two weeks, and get a big boost in the weekly MLB Power Rankings.
The Cubs could not have picked a better time to start playing like the defending World Series champs. The threat posed by the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals was very real, but the Cubs have turned it on and have momentum building into the playoffs where they will not have to deal with the pressure of being the top seed and odds-on favorite.
Over in the American League, the Cleveland Indians continue their winning ways, building another winning streak on the heels of their 22-gamer. They are the best team in baseball right now and remain on top of the power rankings for another week. As we get set to enter the final full week of the MLB regular season in 2017, how does the rest of the league stack up?
San Francisco Giants
Last week: 4-6
Last rank: 29
Jeff Samardzija has, at the very least, been an innings eater for the Giants this year. He leads the National League in innings and the major leagues in walks per nine. At least he’s been consistent, which cannot be said of the other expensive free agent starter the Giants signed the same year — Johnny Cueto. Matt Moore has also been a disaster, and will have to go into scramble mode to find a team to continue his MLB career with next year.
Last week: 2-8
Last rank: 27
Baseball is the most random of the four major sports, and that was never more evident than Tigers left-hander Matt Boyd nearly throwing a no-hitter on Sunday. He came within an out of getting the job done against the Chicago White Sox, and the only hit he gave up was a cheapie. Boyd is now 6-10 on the year with a 5.33 ERA.
Any pitcher in the major leagues is capable of throwing a no-hitter on a given night, even a former top prospect who has a 5.50 ERA in nearly 300 innings at the MLB level. Hopefully for the Tigers, this start can serve as a turning point for Boyd going forward. He is still only 26 and had a 2.82 ERA at Triple-A this season.